“Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in thee. Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth though art, dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.” (Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus; ELW 254, Charles Wesley)
We have entered the season of Advent. In this season, we wait and prepare for the birth of Jesus. We anxiously wait for God to come incarnate as a human baby. We wait for the savior of the world, whom we find in a manger.
One of my favorite songs for the Advent season is “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.” This song evokes freedom and rest. We need freedom and rest, especially in a weary, tired, and burdened world. We all have days that feel hopeless and lonely. We experience sadness as we grieve the deaths of our loved ones as we prepare for family gatherings at Christmas time. We wrestle with anger and grudges as we remember our family division.
God is coming. God is coming as a baby to heal and forgive you. This song names Jesus and identifies him as strength, consolation, hope, desire, and joy. Jesus is your strength when you feel weak and unable to forgive. Jesus is your consolation and comfort when you are sad and alone. Jesus brings life and healing as your hope when you grieve. Jesus is your desire for peace between nations and between peoples. Jesus is your joy and lifts you from all despair and sadness through his death and resurrection.
Jesus is coming soon. Be ready for the kingdom of God to break into this world with resurrection and life. Take the time to wait with joyful hope. A day comes when Jesus returns with justice, peace, and equity for all people. Jesus will feed the hungry. Jesus will wipe away every tear. The Holy Spirit will unite all people together in love. The Holy Spirit will give life and love to all people. Jesus is coming.
Pastor Tyler Hoey, December 2022